Keeping fire extinguishers in your home is important because it could mean the difference between putting out a fire immediately and losing everything you own. Fires spread amazingly fast under the right conditions, so you don't want to risk a house fire with no way to put it out early if it is safe to do so. Besides owning fire extinguishers, it's also important to know how to use them. Here are some tips to think about.
Choose The Right Type
There are several types of fire extinguishers, and buying the best ones for your home is important. For instance, some contain pressurized water, and you don't want to use one of those on an electrical fire. You can buy fire extinguishers for individual purposes like wet extinguishers for paper and dry chemical extinguishers for electrical fires, but it could be better to buy combination extinguishers. A combination extinguisher can be used on paper, electrical fires, and even kitchen fires in the home.
The benefit of having these, also called ABC extinguishers, is that you don't have to stop and think about which extinguisher to grab. When there's a fire, you can grab the closest extinguisher and not have to worry if it is appropriate to use on that particular type of fire.
Know How To Use It
If you've never handled a fire extinguisher in a training class before, then consider taking a class from your fire department or another source that teaches fire safety. Knowing how to use the extinguisher in advance can save you from fumbling around and losing precious time when a fire breaks out. You should know how to pull the pin to get the extinguisher to work and how to aim the nozzle and operate the extinguishing agent. Aiming at the base of the fire is important so you can smother it. Aiming at the top of the flame, which may seem logical, will not have an effect on the fire.
Keep The Extinguishers Accessible
Another important point is to keep the extinguishers within easy reach. Mount them on a wall in a place you can get to easily rather than storing them in a closet behind other clutter. Spread the extinguishers through the house and keep them in areas where fires are more likely such as a kitchen and near a fireplace. Be sure to buy more than one, especially if your home has multiple levels. When storing them, place them somewhere where there is an easy escape. You don't want to head for an extinguisher if you'll get pinned in by a fire. You should only attempt to use a fire extinguisher if there is an easy exit behind your back as you fight the fire.
Understand When It's Not Safe
You can put out many small fires yourself with an extinguisher, but in some cases, it isn't even safe to try. If the flames are roaring, your focus should be on escaping the fire. If something is burning that's emitting toxic fumes or if there is a risk of an explosion, get out of the house as soon as possible. Only use an extinguisher when you're not in danger, and always call 911 as soon as you can for help.
For more information, contact a company like Amerisafe.